This month I decided I would do a blog full of things in Rotterdam that stand out to me as being different to Melbourne, some are big things, but most are just little observations I have made.
Let me start with something useful for any exchange student coming to study in the Netherlands. My uni is structured much different to back home. For each class there is only a single 1 hour and 45 minutes lecture each week and no tutorial. But there is much more reading and studying to do at home. At first I thought this was bad, but I look at it a bit differently now, if you look at it with the view that you need to study independently a lot to do well in any of the courses - it teaches you to do just that work efficiently and productively independently. That's a trait any employer would be happy to see.
The train system is really good and easy to follow; there are only two lines - a red and a blue one. Trains from my station (Rijhaven) run every 2-3 minutes. The Dutch people are notoriously tall. I also cannot stop noticing that the clouds are much bigger and lower here in the Netherlands, I guess it's because of the high humidity and dampness in the air? It gets cold, and rains a lot - but not all day just off and on, off and on. Nearly everyone speaks a second language (at least), and as a result you can talk to 80% of people in English.
Here are some more observations and things I have noticed that are different in Rotterdam when compared to Melbourne.
- People my age from all around the world, do similar things haha (I know for sure now)
- Everyone wears coats
- I shop at a Supermarket called C-1000, not Safeway, not or Coles, but C-1000.
- All houses have a lot of stairs
- Soft drugs are legal
- There is always a lot of Australians at any Australian event, football, live music etc, and just traveling in general
- There are places to play football everywhere
- People love football
- The birds are bigger - they look like the birds in Victoria but just a size up, like they ate some special pill and all enlarged a size.
- You can do Mo-vember in the Netherlands as well.
Despite all this, Rotterdam still reminds me of Melbourne. It was bombed heavily during the second world war, so the city itself is, in European terms, very new. As a result the buildings look more like Melbourne than the partner city to Amsterdam.